Science Fictions: Figuring Autism as Threat and Mystery in Medico-Therapeutic Literature

Bill Rocque

Abstract


This paper explores the figuring of autism as both threat and mystery within medico-therapeutic discourses. These figurations carry powerful meanings that may be drawn upon to further scientific, therapeutic and political projects. Despite having its origin in the “helping professions,” such imagery is damaging to people with autism, but it does not stand uncontested. Counter-figurations--representations offered by people labeled autistic and their allies--challenge dominant medico-therapeutic narratives in order to make positive self-definition possible. Contestation over the meaning of autism pointedly demonstrates that, despite being a biogenetic condition, ASD has clear sociocultural and political dimensions that affect how neurotypicals act toward those labeled autistic.

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v30i1.1064

Copyright (c) 2010 Bill Rocque



Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Terri Fizer.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)